You are away from home for the first time, completely on your own. This is both exciting and fun, and terrifying and challenging. If you haven't been through it yet, here is what you can expect. And if you have been through it, then I'm sure you can relate to every one of the following things.
1. Being (really) sick with nobody to help you for the first time.
If you think the stomach flu in the comfort of your own home is bad, wait until you experience catching it in a freshman dorm. Not to scare you, but when you're living in a building that circulates your air with hundreds of other people and their new germs, you are destined to get pretty sick at least once. Just know that when you hit rock bottom and your mom isn't there to drive you to Urgent Care and you have to walk your horribly ill self across campus to the health center, you will wish you hadn't taken her and her cups of hot tea so for granted all of these years.
2. Questioning whether you choose the right school.
Choosing a college is a huge decision! Realistically, where you decide to go to school is something that will impact you for the rest of your life. It is where you will meet lifelong friends, make post-college job connections, and maybe even meet your future life partner. So like I said- big decision. And because there are so many options, you are likely to doubt yourself at one point or another.
"Should I have gone to a smaller more private school? Should I have stayed home and gone to college in-state with my high school friends? Should I have gone with my second choice instead?"
All of these are questions I tortured myself with during first semester before I really found my place at ASU. The reality is you could drive yourself crazy wondering the "what-ifs" but you have to trust that you made a good choice, and give yourself at least a year to adapt before ruling it out.
3. Wondering if you can survive living in a tiny dorm room with a roommate all year.
Don't get me wrong, having a roommate is a blast most of the time. You get to have sleepovers every night, share clothes, talk at every hour of the day... But if you're anything like me then sometimes you just need a little bit of personal space. Well honestly, there isn't much such thing as personal space in a freshman dorm with people constantly in and out of your room and another person living in the same 10-by-10 area as you. Just learn to appreciate it and know that it is the only time in your life that you will have an experience like that assuming you don't live in shared dorms your later years of college.
When the year ends, you will find yourself kind of missing fighting over sink space and being woken up at 2 a.m. to listen to "the craziest thing that just happened to them at the party."
4. The first time you visit home, you won't want to come back.
The first time I visited home over a long weekend in the fall, I remembered how comfortable and familiar everything was and I barely was able to make myself board the flight back when it was time. I landed in Arizona and cried the whole Uber ride back to campus. Out of state college intimidating at first, it will push you out of your comfort zone all the time. That's what makes you grow and become a better, stronger person though. It will be so worth it the first time you visit your hometown and realize that place is no longer your home and you can't wait to get back to school to your new life there.
5. Realizing the freshman 15 (or negative 15) is sooo real.
You are in a totally new environment, with totally new foods, and totally new activities. Some people find themselves busier than they have ever been, and the nonstop lifestyle leads to forgetting to eat and exhausting themselves on the daily. Others will fall into stress eating during finals, partying more and hitting the gym less, and too many late night fast food runs. Either way, you will probably notice a change in your body at some point. Just make sure to adapt yourself and develop healthy balance patterns and this one will be a pretty easy fix.
6. You might wonder if you declared the wrong major.
Well, there's nothing wrong with this. A lot of people do at first. The best thing to do is to make regular appointments with your freshman advisor. They will sit down with you and talk you through your options and show you what each of those would mean.
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